Government of India has sent a notice to Tik Tok and Helo, seeking answers to a range of questions, including whether the social media platforms are being used for anti-national activities.
The Ministry of Electronics and IT (Meity) has warned that the apps could be banned if appropriate response is not received, news agency PTI said quoting sources.
The move came following a written complaint by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) affiliate Swadeshi Jagran Manch (SJM) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in which they had demanded a complete ban on the Chinese platforms, calling them “a hub of anti-national activities” that pose a threat to the national security and data sovereignty.
The Meity notice carrying 21 questions sought response on steps taken to restrict fake news allegedly being spread through the platforms.
It also questioned them on the allegations of paying a huge amount of money to other media platforms for putting 11,000 morphed political ads on social media sites.
In response, TikTok and Helo, in the joint statement, said that they take their responsibilities towards the Indian community seriously and would fully abide by their obligations.
“Our continued success in India will not be possible without the support of our local community. We take our responsibilities to this community seriously and welcome this opportunity to fully collaborate with the Government to meet and exceed our obligations,” the statement said.
The statement added that the platforms are going to invest USD 1 billion dollars in India over the next three years.
This is not the first of instances when the aptness of Tik Tok has come under scrutiny. In April, the Madras High Court had in an interim order directed the Centre to ban TikTok app, after concerns were raised about access to pornographic content through it.
TikTok was blocked on the App Store and Google Play Store since 18 April.
However, the court lifted the ban on 24th April, after a Supreme Court bench headed by the Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi said that the ban will stand lifted if the Madras HC fails to decide on its interim order by then.